Use this Spanish lullaby for imaginative play with language learners.

The calming melodies and rhythms of lullabies, or canciones de cuna, help babies fall asleep and provide early exposure to language. Older Spanish learners can also benefit from lullabies. They can sing to little sisters and brothers and use lullabies as a part of their imaginative play. Duérmete mi niño is probably the best-known Spanish lullaby.

Spanish Lullaby for Imaginative Play

This Spanish lullaby is an excellent addition to imaginative play for toddlers and preschoolers. Encourage children to sing this Spanish lullaby to dolls and toy animals as they play. In my preschool classes, it is one of the first songs we sing as we talk about day and night. We all rock small stuffed animals and put them to sleep.

You can use the words of Duérmete mi niño for lots of imaginative play besides rocking the babies and putting them to bed. It will depend a little on the version you sing, but here are a few possibilities.

– Call your dolls and stuffed animals mi amor and mi sol as you play.
– Use the lines from the song in your games and ask questions with them:
Mi niño quiere que lo lleve a pasear en coche. ¿Qué quiere tu niño?
Tengo que lavar los pañales. ¿Qué tienes que hacer?
– Act out the parts of the song. Take the babies for a drive or feed them atole.

The wonderful organization Cantoalegre offers a free download of the Spanish lullaby Duermete mi niño on their portal musicalibre. The mp3 features Colombian artist Juanes.

To find the song, follow the link above and in the left-hand column (Colecciones) select Cantar y jugar. In the middle column click on Duérmete mi niño and the lyrics, a play button and a download button will appear in the right-hand column.

Because lullabies are handed down over generations, there are many variations of the traditional  Spanish lullaby Duérmete mi niño.

These are lyrics to the version that Cantoalegre sings:

Duérmete mi niño, duérmete mi amor
duérmete pedazo de mi corazón.
Este niño mío que nació de noche
quiere que lo lleve a pasear en coche.
Este niño mío que nació de día
quiere que lo lleve a la dulcería.
Duérmete mi niño, duérmete mi amor
duérmete pedazo de mi corazón.

There are other verses and versions of this Spanish lullaby. Like many traditional songs, the phrases all fit the rhythm and melody, so they are combined in different ways. You can also sing Duérmete mi niña.

These are common verses:

Duérmete mi niño, que tengo que hacer
Lavar los pañales, y hacer de comer

Duérmete mi niño, duérmete solito
Que cuando te despiertes, te daré un atolito (un dulcito).

Duérmete mi niño, duérmete mi sol
duérmete pedazo, de mi corazón.

Many artists have recorded this Spanish lullaby. Two of my favorite versions are by Jose-Luis Orozco and Twin Sisters.

Que sueñes con los angelitos…

Photo Credit: InAweofGod’sCreation via Compfight cc

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